The project, which is intended to increase energy supply at the lower end-user tariff, is expected to take three years to build.

Ugandan Energy Minister Simon D’Ujanga said that the $450M project will ensure stable and reliable hydro power generation in the medium-term. The power plant complex will cost |$355M, and a further $95M will be spent on transmission lines, the substation and resettlement plans.

Karuma is one of the largest hydro power projects in the country, second only to the 250MW Bujagali dam. Works are expected to begin on Bujagali in June and the plant is expected to be online by 2011.

The current government investment in hydro power is a result of increasing energy demands in the country. Uganda’s energy consumption is currently increasing at 2MW per month and in 20 years, it is predicted that the country will require 11,000MW.